Aztec empire collapsed by salmonella?
German biologists looking for the causes of the fall of the Aztec empireów have taken DNA from human remains (more specifically, from the tooth of theó(w) from the Oaxacan area in southern Mexico. 24 of 29 osób, from whichórs whose genetic material was collected died as a result of the 1545 epidemic – 1550. Researchers from fragmentóThey extracted two genomes of a strain of Salmonella enterica bacteria in DNA.
Before the arrival of Hernando Cortes in Mexico in 1519, the population there numbered about 25 millionów. One hundred years póAfter that, only one million remained. The population was decimated by the conquistador’s armies, but mostly by epidemics. Spaniards brought with them a disease, for which theóre themselves were immunized, but the local population was no longer.
Scientists agree on the size of theóin tragedy. They also agree that the population of the Aztec empireów finished epidemics, however, róThey agree on the disease, whichóra caused the plague. Smallpox, measles and typhoid were already taken into account. Recently, it has also been hypothesized that a hemorrhagic fever epidemic is behind the decimation of the population of present-day Mexico. Now a new one has been put up, whichóra tragedy put on the shoulders of the Salmonella enterica bacteria.
The population of today’s Mexico is believed to have been overrun by two major epidemics. The first dated to 1545 and the second to 1576. Found by German biologistsów strain of salmonella in Europe appeared several centuries earlier. Evidence for this was presented by British biologist Mark Achtman, który found the genome of this strain in the remains of a woman buried in Trondheim around 1200. After 300 years, when Cortes set out to conquer the subbój America, Europeans were already immune to it.
Results of Max Planck Institute researchers await scientific review. Although there is convincing evidence in this case, confirmed by other studies, the scientific community is not convinced. María Ávila-Arcos of the National Autonomous University of Mexico noted that the work of the German biologistsów does not rule out other hypotheses.